by The Founder's Account of The Local Cluster Administrator. . 248 reads.

🔰 Welcome to The Local Cluster! (Start Here!)


Thank you for taking a moment to read this dispatch, and welcome to The Local Cluster!

As a region, The Local Cluster is dedicated to providing a welcoming space for Future Tech roleplayers (primarily of the open canon variety) to congregate, have discussions, plan roleplays, worldbuild, and generally get to know one another. On principle, the region encourages the usage of community standards and guidelines as starting points and guideposts to help ensure consistency and merit; we hold the Four C's and voluntary consent as paramount in terms of healthy creativity and positive player conduct.

Due to our emphasis on open canon, unlike many Future Tech-tagged regions, The Local Cluster operates without a map in any form. Instead, the region encourages the adoption of the "Quadrant System," which sees widespread usage among FT roleplayers across the National & International Roleplaying boards (NationStates, International Incidents, etc.). Even so, players understandably like their maps; there are several well-known maps used across the community, and players are not besmirched for their usage, adoption, and regular reference. In regional documentation The Local Cluster adopts the position that said maps are the best representation of their creator's In-Character vision of the open canon FT world.

Overall, The Local Cluster is quite simple - by design and intention. Created in August of 2014 (name courtesy of Feazanthia), while changes have been made, shifts undergone, priorities re-organized, and (especially as of recently) the overall administration of the region streamlined, things remain much the same: provide a space for FT roleplayers to congregate with little in the way of regional obligations - beyond the rules of etiquette, the site rules and Terms & Conditions, and a generally broad expectation of adherence to community standards and positive player conduct.

Hopefully you have found this informative. Further information regarding common terms and concepts, as well as information regarding The Local Cluster's regional administration, may be found below. If you wish to get involved, most Out-of-Character interaction occurs via Discord - information of which may be found in the below section. If you have any questions, please feel free to direct such to a regional officer on our RMB.

Otherwise, please take a moment to read our rules linked in the navigation bar above, and - once again - welcome. We hope you enjoy your stay!

The Local Cluster purposefully lacks a Discord that is unique to itself as a region. Instead, The Local Cluster uses the LinkNSFT Discord as our server of preference. The purpose for this distinction is to dissuade and discourage the fostering of an exclusive "TLC identity" or "citizenship," and instead to promote an inclusive "FT roleplayer" mindset, sense of community, and network of interaction and connectivity. As such, players are free to join the NSFT Discord or not; it is simply of note that many members of The Local Cluster frequent the Discord, including its regional administration.

With regards to such, anyone who has visited the Discord will have no-doubt noticed considerable overlap between its staff and The Local Cluster's regional officers. The Local Cluster was established in August of 2014, while the NSFT Discord was established in March of 2017, both by the same founder. Even so, the administration of the two is distinct, with staff serving in one not necessarily serving in the other. A partnership has existed since the founding of the latter that allows for referral from The Local Cluster to the Discord, both due to significant staff overlap and significant member overlap.

Regardless, the Discord linked above has members both from The Local Cluster and many different other regions - both open and closed canon, roleplay and gameplay, etc. - all united by their interest in Future Tech and science-fiction roleplaying and worldbuilding. Players who find their way to the Discord from The Local Cluster are expected to be courteous and respectful.

⚠️ Note! The NSFT Discord uses NSVerify, as provided by AugustinAndroid ("Moose"). While verification is not required to join the server, certain privileges are only available to those who do - including message history, access to certain channels, and other features. All those who join are strongly encouraged to '>verify' their nations to access these features and help prevent spam and malicious activity on the NSFT Discord and the over 300 other NS-related Discords currently using AugustinAndroid.

Q. Does The Local Cluster have a regional government?
A. Yes and no. In gameplay terminology, The Local Cluster is unabashedly a dictatorship. There are no elections, referenda do not exist, there are no means of recalling regional officers, and the WA Delegacy is a non-executive position that exists primarily as an honorific (that is occasionally toppled by friendly raiders). The region operates by the Founder's fiat (The Local Cluster Administrator). Not to be brusque, but if this is considered problematic, it might be worth reading a bit further - or not, it's up to you.

In practice, The Local Cluster is maintained by a triumvirate of curators. The primary purposes for these officials are to simply ensure the region runs smoothly, the RMB stays clean, and embassy requests are processed. In the rare event of a rule infraction, the curators are also responsible for suppressing posts, warning members, and banning/ejecting members in the case of severe infractions (or if the member/player is otherwise determined to be wholly unwelcome in the region). The curators are appointed and removed by Founder fiat, and the same may be said for any other regional officers at any given time.

Q. What is open canon FT?
A. Open canon is the default position promoted and encouraged by The Local Cluster. To put it simply: open canon Future Tech is FT in which no one player needs another player's permission simply to assume their nation/civilization exists. There is no player or group of players in open canon FT which can determine if your nation/civilization is "real," In-Character, or not. There is no application process, simply create an account and you exist.

That is not to say that open canon conflicts with voluntary consent (that no one player can force another to do something, especially roleplay with them or even acknowledge them). In open canon, individual players (even many of them at a time) are free to ignore other players and determine, for their individual canon, that they do not exist. This, however, does not qualify as "permission," and is instead an Out-of-Character revocation of acknowledgment. In older parlance: "firing the Ignore Cannon." This should not be conflated with "closed" or "application-only threads"; these are generally presumed to be instances of permissibility in an otherwise open canon setting (more or which you may read about below).

Open canon is generally understood to conflict with closed canon: a Future Tech galaxy/universe/etc. in which permission by an authority figure (or group) is required simply to exist and play. You may read more about these distinctions here.

Q. What are the Four C's?
A. Born of the older/synonymous concepts of the "Rule of Cool" and "Code of Bro" (pardoning gender exclusivity here), the Four C's (or "C4") are a series of four otherwise overriding considerations with regard to both a Future Tech concept and player conduct. These considerations are: collaboration and compromise, creativity and consistency.

Simply put: players should be willing to collaborate with others (this is the basis of roleplaying) and compromise for the sake of mutual enjoyment (when possible), and they should aim to be creative (don't produce wholesale rip-offs from already-existing media; influence and inspiration is generally fine) and consistent (use the same rules in one thread in the next, one physics-breaking handwave to the next) in their creations. Together, these four can be reduced down to simply "Don't be a dick" - to quote the OSRS.

Of course, there are always exceptions - and always instances where a player simply cannot seem to adhere to the fairly simple aphorism provided. Even so, the Four C's provide (in combination with voluntary consent) a generally solid pair of rubrics to guide player behavior and the creation of Future Tech concepts. Memorize them; you might get a cookie for it.

Q. What is the Quadrant System?
A. Is this the Star Trek universe? No, but some ideas are just good.

Generally speaking, a preponderance of nations/civilizations in open canon Future Tech exist in the Milky Way Galaxy (or "the Galaxy," for those who don't like to use anthropocentric terms due to their nation/civilization being non-human); this is not to say that open canon FT events do not take place beyond it, but even so. In the vein of Star Trek, as a means helping grasp locations in the Galaxy (a, quite literally, astronomically massive structure), it is subdivided into four quadrants. Starting at six o'clock, going clockwise: Alpha ("southwest"), Gamma ("northwest"), Delta ("northeast"), and Beta ("southeast").

Historical In-Character events have shaped the way some view the individual character of these quadrants, though in practice they are simply a means of saying "Oh, I'm near Examplestan, since we're both in Beta." There is no correct answer to the question, "I like $some_kind_of_roleplay, what quadrant should I be in?" Every quadrant has conflict, politics, intrigue, and a myriad of different stories, all crafted by their players (and, subsequently, their inhabitants), same as the other three. If you must pick one over the other, pick the one that just "feels right" to you, or where your friends have their own and thus can conceivably foster easier causes for interaction.